Could 2012 Be Another TEAnami?
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/09/19
Things are definitely starting to look that way. The special elections in NY-9 and NV-2 suggest that is the case. NY-9, which has been in Democrat hands since the early 1920s, was won by a Republican who had never held elective office before and ran his campaign as a referendum on Barack Obama. NV-2, which Obama lost to McCain in the 2008 Presidential election by a skin-tight 49-49 photo-finish and had been deemed winnable by Democrats, went to the Republican — who held his Democrat opponent up as a defender of ObamaCare — by a 20-point margin.
Josh Kraushaar at National Journal has some information that should leave Democrats quaking in their mukluks.
Tuesday’s special elections for two House seats, one in New York and one in Nevada, are starting to put the picture in clearer focus—and it’s not good for Democrats. Democrats lost a deeply-Democratic New York City district that had been in party hands for nearly a century, and they lost by over 20 points in a congressional race in the battleground state of Nevada, a contest that once promised to be a bellwether because of the GOP’s positioning on Medicare.
Put simply, Obama and Republicans in Congress are both unpopular—and voters are taking out their anger on Democrats—even in a reliably Democratic district. The president’s base of supporters isn’t showing up, while his opponents are as mobilized as ever. Obama’s approval ratings are lower than they were in 2010, when Republicans picked up a historic number of House seats.
Look at the congressional generic ballot, where Democrats traditionally hold an advantage even in lean years. The latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows Republicans holding a 47 percent to 41 percent edge, the largest margin for Republicans since 1996, when the question was first asked. When Republicans picked up 63 House seats in 2010, Democrats actually held a 46 percent to 44 percent advantage on the poll’s generic ballot.
The Nevada special election, held in a rural, Republican-leaning district that Obama nearly carried in 2008, looked several months ago like a real opportunity for Democrats. …
Instead, Republicans and allied groups also went on the attack, spending nearly $1 million on ads to portray Marshall as a supporter of Obama’s health care plan, which proved to be even more unpopular with voters than entitlement cuts. Internal GOP polling showed Marshall with a clear edge on Medicare at the campaign’s outset, but she trailed badly on the issue by the end. In Washoe County (Reno), a key bellwether, Marshall lost by 10 points.
… The 20-point gap is far greater than the eight-point registration advantage Republicans hold in the district. [bold mine]
“When Republicans picked up 63 House seats in 2010, Democrats actually held a 46 percent to 44 percent advantage on the poll’s generic ballot.” Compare that to now, where Republicans hold a 47 to 41 percent advantage, a swing of 8 points in the Republicans’ favor less than a year later. I believe it was Larry Sabato (but I can not find the link) who said if the electorate were to vote in 2012 exactly as they voted in 2010, Republicans would gain another 20 seats in the House solely due to the decennial redistricting. While it is true that off-year elections have fewer numbers than Presidential year elections, due to more “I don’t get into politics” politically ignorant people casting their once-every-four-years votes without any real knowledge, thus voting more heavily for Democrats, it is also true that there is a stronger favor for Republicans now than there was in 2010. And Barack Obama is most definitely dragging the Democrats down with him. Make no mistake about it, the 2012 election will most definitely be about Barack Obama and his record and agenda.
Ed Morrissey reports on the Chicago Tribune’s suggestion that Barack Obama choose not to run for reelection.
Stephen Chapman of the Chicago Tribune’s editorial board writes in today’s paper that it’s time for the battered champ to hang ‘em up:
I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election. He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he’s willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013.
That might be the sensible thing to do. It’s hard for a president to win a second term when unemployment is painfully high. If the economy were in full rebound mode, Obama might win anyway. But it isn’t, and it may fall into a second recession — in which case voters will decide his middle name is Hoover, not Hussein. Why not leave of his own volition instead of waiting to get the ax?
That’s the Chicago Tribune, no Conservative newspaper by any stretch of the imagination, and the hometown newspaper of Barack Obama, suggesting it would be better for Obama to sit out the next election instead of running again. But I believe such an option is truly a Hobson’s Choice situation, as Mr Morrissey explains.
Even if Obama appeared to retire on his own a la LBJ, there would be a significant number of Democrats who would believe he’d been pushed — and pushed out by the Clintons and their clique. It’s no secret that Obama wanted to keep the Clintons at as much arms-length as he possibly could. He has not included Bill Clinton very often in official efforts even though Obama could clearly benefit from Clinton’s skills, and on the one memorable occasion where Obama called on the former President, Clinton ended up taking over the stage. Hillary would appeal to the voters Obama is losing — suburban families in the Rust Belt and Midwest — but a palace coup in the Democratic Party could split the hard-Left progressives and would certainly poison the relationship between the Democratic Party and black voters.
And if Obama won’t go on his own, then there is no play for Hillary. If she tried running a last-minute primary challenge now, all of the above comes into play — and she doesn’t have the time to build an organization that can compete with Obama’s in the field now.
No, if Obama runs for reelection, he drags the Democrat Party down with him. And if he bows out, the Democrat Party goes into civil war, and a lot of Democrat voters pack it in and sit on the sidelines. Either way, Democrats lose. But all of that is moot anyway. Barack Obama is too narcissistic and too filled with delusions of grandeur and too isolated from the rest of the country to see what he is doing is completely rejected by a majority of voters. If he keeps going as he has been going, he’ll guarantee enough Conservative TEA Party Republicans are voted in to completely undo all the damage he’s put into Law during his tenure, but he is too blinded by his own puffed up self-image to see any of it.
So no, Obama will not go gracefully. And no, Obama will not change course to improve the situation for himself, Democrats, or the country as a whole. While there may still be a Democrat Primary challenger, that won’t be successful. And Conservatives stand to continue the “wave of 2010” straight on through to November, 2012.
And for you Liberals out in la-la land who want to throw the raaaaacist card around, beware of the “glass house” effect. As I reported previously, your raaaaacist demagoguery of Voter ID is not playing well with the Hispanic community as they overwhelmingly favor Voter ID.
And when you Liberals start pushing this “Small Government Conservatives are stoopid” meme, you have your facts reversed.
Looking back over eighteen General Social Surveys since 1975, in every one those who wanted smaller government had significantly more education than the rest of the public, measured both by mean years of education (Figure 1) and by mean highest final educational degree.
And when you start shouting “Small Government Conservatives is raaaaacists!” you are really out to lunch.
Social scientists usually measure traditional racism against African Americans by looking at the survey responses of white Americans only. Among whites in the latest General Social Survey (2008), only 4.5% of small-government advocates express the view that “most Blacks/African-Americans have less in-born ability to learn,” compared to 12.3% of those who favor bigger government or take a middle position expressing this racist view.
Figure 3 shows that, among whites, Republican advocates of smaller government are even less racist (1.3% believing that blacks have less in-born ability) than the rest of the general public (11.3% expressing racist views).
And the beat goes on. The same article examines white Conservatives regardless of whether they support Small Government or not and found 5.4 percent of them expressed racist views compared to 10.3 percent of the rest of the white population. And you Liberals are really going to hate this next datapoint. Comparing Republicans and Democrats, the numbers get really ugly — for the Democrats.
As Figure 4 shows, this same pattern holds for white Democrats compared to white Republicans: in 2008 12.3% of white Democrats in the U.S. believed that African Americans were born with less ability, compared to only 6.6% of white Republicans.
And 2008 wasn’t an aberration. In sixteen surveys from 1977 through 2008 (Figure 4), overall white Republicans were significantly less racist on the in-born ability question than white Democrats (13.3% to 17.3%), and white conservative Republicans were significantly less racist than other white Americans (11.7% to 14.7%)…
So you Liberals can throw around your raaaaacist card all you want and you can throw your stoopid card around all you want. The facts show the more Conservative a person is, the less racist he is, and Republicans are significantly less racist than Democrats. Also, Small Government Conservatives are as a group more educated than the general public.
So, in summation:
Barack Obama drags the Democrats down.
Suggesting Barack Obama bow out is a Hobson’s Choice that Obama won’t take anyway due to his pathological problems.
2012 is likely to be very ugly for Democrats.
And the Democrats’ raaaaacist and stoopid cards won’t work as they apply more to Democrats than to Republicans and apply even less to the Small Government TEA Party Republicans.
I think come November, 2012, it will indeed finally be time to party like it’s 1773.
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